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Joe Gomez: Liverpool Stars Ready for Everton Clash Amid Squad-Rotation Talk

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2020

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Liverpool manager / head coach Jurgen Klopp and Joe Gomez of Liverpool at full time the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Vitality Stadium on December 7, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has said the club's first-team players are ready to play in Sunday's FA Cup clash with Everton, amid talk that Jurgen Klopp may rotate his squad for the contest.

The Reds have had a busy festive period, with the team playing in the Premier League and FIFA Club World Cup. With that in mind, it's anticipated they will make a number of tweaks to the side on Sunday, even though they are welcoming their Merseyside rivals to Goodison Park.

Gomez has been a regular in the side as of late following injuries to Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren. Speaking ahead of the Cup showdown, he's said there aren't any players in the squad thinking about having a rest, per Carl Markham of Press Association (h/t The Independent):

"I think if you asked everyone in the dressing room they all have that desire to play every game and I think that is what is important for us in this team."

"...For me, I love every derby and it is a special game, every time. Regardless of whether it is a Premier League game or not, we go into it looking to win and I think that is self-explanatory.

"That is something that we look forward to and whatever will be will be. Everyone wants to play. There is no telling what the gaffer will do but we are used to the quick turnaround now. At the same time, we want to win things, and it is the Merseyside derby and we never want to lose that."

Per Neil Jones of Goal, following Liverpool's win over Sheffield United in the Premier League on Thursday, Klopp hinted that the Reds would rotate their side:

Neil Jones @neiljonesgoal

Klopp: "How can I rotate? A little bit! We are still assessing the boys, the game last night was an intense one. We invested a lot. We have to see. I couldn't make a lineup in this moment even if I wanted. I have to make sensible decisions." #LFC

While Liverpool will be keen to progress in the FA Cup and put one over on their local rivals, they will prioritise their pursuit of the Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles this season.

Klopp will be concerned with the growing injury list his team has as a result, although he will be pleased with the manner in which players have stepped into the XI and performed well. Gomez has seized his opportunity following the layoffs for Lovren and Matip.

Football writer Leanne Prescott praised the performance of Gomez in the recent win over Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Leanne Prescott @_lfcleanne

Great to see Joe Gomez back to his absolute best. Another really strong display today.

Per the Match of the Day Twitter account, alongside Van Dijk, the youngster has been able to thrive:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Liverpool have only conceded one goal in the five #PL games that both Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have started this season. LIVE 👉 https://t.co/ujbfDF0KX6 #bbcfootball #LIVSHU https://t.co/4wcOxCiCZo

Given Gomez and Van Dijk are the only two fit senior centre-backs on Liverpool's books, the Reds may rest one of those in favour of a youngster. 

Klopp will have similarly testing calls to make throughout the squad, with Everton set to be at full strength in this encounter at Anfield. It would appear the biggest names in the Liverpool squad would relish the chance to be involved despite their recent heavy workload.

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